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African elephants push over or remove small acacia trees that sprout among the grasses in grasslands where they roam.

The elephants’ actions prevent the trees from getting too large and shading out the important grasses they consume. Because the roots of the grasses run deep into the ground, they are able to continue to grow even when the shoots above the ground are eaten.

This best describes the role of African elephants as

A

a keystone species.

B

a producer.

C

a decomposer.

D

a scavenger.

E

a secondary consumer.

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